Remember Dreaming

“Sophie peered into the jar, and there, sure enough, she saw the faint translucent outline of something about the size of a hen’s egg. There was just a touch of colour in it, a pale sea-green, soft and shimmering and very beautiful. There it lay, quite peaceful, but pulsing gently, as though it were breathing. The BFG explained to Sophie ‘A dream does not need feeding. If it is a good one, it waits peaceably forever, until it is released and allowed to do its job.’
- From The BFG, by Roald Dahl

CIID Thesis Project
3 months
Kevin Cannon
Research, Concept generation, Electronics
initial sketch
Mimi listening to a story

Just pick up a jar to hear a story

Depending on the height of your hand, the light changes colour in a playful way
Nina, listening to a story


The BFG, by Roald Dahl was the inspiration for this installation. In the book, the Big Friendly Giant collects beautiful dreams in jars and gives them to children at night. In this installation each jar contains a childhood dream represented by soft swirling lights that change and shift - reacting to your hand movements. If you listen very carefully indeed, you may also hear some whispered dreams.

This project is an experiment in interactive storytelling and playful interactions. How might we tell stories in a new way, and create playful experiences that make people smile. Often, when adults get caught up in everyday life, we forget what it is to play. I want people to remember what it was to dream and play as children.

This prototype is the first step in creating a platform for interactive storytelling. In the future this will be expanded into a full ‘story garden’ with many different stories for people to explore over a much larger area. This will be a powerful way to share experiences and communicate ideas between different audiences in different contexts.

Process Photos

Design goal
Photo of my design goal, which I defined during the process

Cutting the glass was one of the trickiest things in this project

An early mockup of how the concept would work in a garden or at a festival
One of the laser cut mounts that held everything together

Three of the final circuits that get put into the jars
The final prototype being tested